Founded in 1913, Arch Club made its first home in a rented house on the north
side of Prospect, between the Observatory of Instruction (and its attached
residence) and Colonial Club. In March 1914, however, this property was sold to
Dial Lodge, requiring Arch to find new quarters. At first, the club sought to
acquire the southern half of the Quadrangle Club lot, with the intent of moving
the McCosh House
so that it would face Ivy Lane instead of Prospect. (Quad would then proceed with its plans for a Georgian Revival building.)
When this scheme fell through, Arch considered acquiring two small lots to the east of Cap & Gown, now the site of Cloister Inn. The price tag was $24,000. Before Arch could close on these properties, however, a more attractive parcel became available for virtually the same price: 188 feet fronting Washington Road, approximately where the Woodrow Wilson School plaza stands today.
This property contained two wooden houses in the Colonial Revival style. One
house, which had belonged to a member of the Olden family, was in bad
condition, but under the direction of architect B.V. White, Class of 1892, the
other structure -- the Miller House -- was repaired and renovated over the
summer of 1914 at a cost of $5,000. The club occupied the new clubhouse that
The undergraduates who formed Arch Club had high hopes of expanding the building once they had paid off their debt. But the rosy projections of 1915 were never realized. In April 1917, when the University's upperclass students volunteered en masse for service in World War I, many of the clubs closed their doors temporarily. It would seem that Arch's never reopened.